Ripple is undertaking a new project called the University Blockchain Research Initiative, according to an official blog post.
This is a collaborative partnership with universities from Australia, the US, the Netherlands, Brazil, India, South Korea, the UK, Luxembourg, Cyprus, and Canada. Seventeen universities in total are taking part.
The purpose of the initiative is to accelerate academic research into blockchain technology and all its formats and uses. Universities are free to choose their areas of focus, but the general idea is to “stimulate widespread understanding and innovation in blockchain [technology]”.
It also wants to create a “new curriculum” to educate high school-age children about financial technology and cryptocurrency.
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Ripple has committed to $50 million in funding and will also be providing technical resources and advice.
Ripple gives some examples of specific cases. For example, at the University of Pennsylvania in the US, the UBRI will provide money to engineering students that choose to work with blockchain/cryptocurrency technology. It is also providing funds for new blockchain research programmes at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and the University of Luxembourg.
In addition to this, it is working with the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, which is itself working with a number of active companies financial companies to research subjects like blockchain, cryptocurrencies, cybersecurity and global payments.
Ripple is company that uses blockchain technology to facilitate fast cross-border transfer of money. It aims to work with financial institutions, and its success in doing so has led it to become the third most valuable cryptocurrency in the world, trailing only Bitcoin and Ethereum.
However, it has attracted criticism because its network is very centralised relative to other blockchain-based companies, and members of Ripple’s management hold huge amounts of money. It is currently facing a lawsuit in the US which will finally decide if Ripple tokens will be considered securities under US law.